Twisted Sister – “Ruff Cutts” (1982)

The legendary Bon Scott once sang “it’s a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll”.  Twisted Sister probably knew this better than anyone.  With roots dipping back deep into the seventies, Twisted Sister shed blood, sweat, and tears for many years on the club circuit before finally scoring a record deal in 1982.  And a couple of years later Twisted Sister ascended all the way to the top of the rock world with the blockbuster Stay Hungry album of 1984.  Of course, they pissed it all away almost immediately.  So, yeah, it is indeed a long way to the top as Bon says, but the real challenge is what to do once you get there.  Someone should have written a song about that.  That’s when Twisted Sister really took a steamy dump.

But I digress…

Twisted Sister signed with a small U.K. label called Secret Records.  As they set out to record their first LP (which would become 1982’s Under The Blade), the excited folks at Secret decided to whet the fans’ appetites with a four track EP called Ruff Cutts.  The record included three tracks that ended up being re-recorded for Under The Blade, and one track that Twisted Sister re-recorded for their 1985 LP Come Out And PlayWhat You Don’t Know kicked off the EP, a decent version of the song, but one still inferior to the Under The Blade LP version, if only because Dee seemed in need of a lozenge.  Next was Shoot ‘Em Down, a tamer version than the nasty Under The Blade LP version (and also lacking that all important f-bomb at the end).  The third cut was Under The Blade itself, and the final track was Leader Of The Pack, a slower version than the one that eventually ended up as Twisted Sister’s ill-fated lead single from Come Out And Play.

In the end, I view this EP as pretty unimportant to anyone except serious TS collectors because Twisted Sister re-recorded superior versions of all four songs on their proper LPs.  My score: B

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